High rise buildings, architectural masterpieces, elegant shopping malls, luxurious hotels….is Dubai on your mind? Sorry, it’s not Dubai but Abu Dhabi tourist places that we are talking about here. This multicultural city is nothing less compared to Dubai, it’s as vibrant, captivating and entertaining as Dubai. Abu Dhabi attractions are literally a fusion of traditional ethos, contemporary culture and modern city charm. 

Abu Dhabi tourism is a treasure trove that has something for everyone irrespective of age and interest. You will be spoilt for choice when choosing the best things to do in Abu Dhabi as the list is endless. From relaxed family fun to action packed adventures, from reflective cultural spaces to unbeatable luxury, AbuDhabi’s wide-range of experiences has something for every holidaymaker. Start planning now with our list for an impeccable holiday experience. 

Where Is Abu Dhabi And What Are Its Geographical Details

how far is abu dhabi from dubai
Part of AbuDhabi, UAE with tall buildings and surrounding area viewed from the helicopter.

The island city of Abudhabi is located just 250 meters from the mainland on the north-eastern part of the Persian Gulf. It is connected to the mainland by two bridges, Maqta and Mussafah. AbuDhabi shares its borders with the Sultanate of Oman in the east, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the south and Dubai in the northeast. The good news is, the distance between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is just 138 kilometers. 

Weather In Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has a warm desert climate all-year round. The first half of the day is warm and can get really hot after noon. Night can get really cold during winters due to the strong winds from the desert. 

Spring – Mid-March to May, temperatures start to rise gradually.

Summertime – May to September, daytime temperature can go beyond 45℃.

Autumn – September to December, summer heat starts to subside. 

Winter season – December to mid-March, average daytime temperature of 25℃.

Fun Things To Do In Abu Dhabi 

Take A Sunset Stroll At The Corniche

walking beside the Corniche is one of the best thing to do in abu dhabi
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The Corniche is an eight kilometers stretch of well-maintained waterfront along the western border of the city. It’s a great place to enjoy the sunrise or sunset with family and friends. The entire stretch is divided into three sections: for families, singles and for larger groups. Some come here just for a stroll while others stop by to enjoy the views or for a dip at the beach. This picturesque location is filled with cafes, restaurants, and children’s play zone. There are separate pathways for pedestrians and cycles, so an early morning cycle or a bike ride can be a great idea. 

Where: Corniche Rd, Abu Dhabi – UAE

Entry Ticket: Entry is free but parking fee is AED 10

Hop On A Big Bus Abu Dhabi Tour

Bigbus will help with what to see in abu dhabi city
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Explore AbuDhabi at your own pace with a hop-on hop-off bus tour. The bright red double-decker buses with open roof tops provide the perfect introduction to the city as it stops at every major tourist hot spot in the city. There are two routes to choose from, one is the City Tour Red route which brings you to the Presidential Palace, Corniche, Al Hosn Fort, World Trade Center and Heritage Village. The second is the Mosque Shuttle Green route that heads straight to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Timings: 9:00am -5:00pm with buses at every 30 minutes interval

Duration: 1hour 50 minutes

Entry Ticket: AED 280 for 24/48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Meet Your Favorite Characters At Warner Bros World

is abu dhabi worth visiting, yes it is
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Warner Bros World is a theme park in Abu Dhabi which is dedicated to popular cartoon, movie, and comic heroes and villains. There are around 29 rides which are all based around these popular characters. The entire park is divided into six “lands” as per themes and has rides and activities that cater to both children and adults. You can interact with your favorite cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Fred Flintstone, Scooby-Doo, Batman, and more! A visit to Abu Dhabi theme park will make this trip a memorable affair for all.

Where: Al Falah Road, AbuDhabi

Timings: Every day 11:00am to 08:00pm

Entry Ticket: Between AED 300 to AED 350

Soaring High With The Marina Eye 

best to do things in abudhabi city
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Marina Eye is a record-breaking Ferris wheel that dominates the skyline of Abu Dhabi. It is located right across the street from the famous and enormous Marina Mall. At 820 feet high up in the air, Marina Eye boasts of being one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the world. Once up there, the giant structure offers unparalleled views of the city as well as other popular landmarks. The record-breaking structure has 42 glass cases of which a few are VIP cases. These VIP cases come with luxurious interiors, air conditioners, glass floor, and DVD players. The perfectly designed observation wheel is open on all seven days of the week. It’s a perfect activity to enjoy with family and friends!

Where: Al Marina, AbuDhabi – UAE

Timings: 10:00 am-11:00 pm (Saturday-Wednesday) and on weekends (Thursday-Friday) the closing time extends to 1:00 am.

Entry Ticket: 43 – 58 AED

Visit The Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi

where is abu dhabi
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Louvre Abu Dhabi is a spectacular museum that presents an enchanting fusion of ancient and contemporary artworks. It aims to bridge the gap between the Western and Eastern worlds by showcasing different artwork from all over. The 8,000 square feet of galleries has theme based displays of artworks and artifacts from various times and civilizations. It is the largest and the first universal museum in the whole Arabian Peninsula. A visit to this iconic institution is highly recommended for art and architecture enthusiasts. 

Where: Saadiyat Island, AbuDhabi

Entry Ticket: Seniors and adults need a ticket for admission but for children under 13 it is free.

Timings: 10:00am – 6:30pm (Tuesday to Sunday)

Kids Day Out At Kidzania

abu dhabi tourist places has many option for kids day out
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Here’s your chance to allow your kids to experience the world with the acts of real-life occupations. From dentistry to aviation, fashion professions to news reporters, your little ones have 40 different real-world professions to explore. This unique theme park in Abu Dhabi is spread across 7000 m2 of area which is packed with fun activities in various areas. They also have a Metropolitan Theatre where your kids are asked to host various shows. Book your tickets now to enhance your kid’s learning experience while the kids live their dreams. It’s basically fun while learning!

Where: Yas Island, AbuDhabi 

Entry Ticket: Staring from AED 185

Timings: 10:00am – 11:00pm

Adventure Things To Do In Abu Dhabi

Conquer The Desert On A 4WD Safari

sand dune adventures are great abu dhabi attractions
4×4 dune bashing is a popular sport of the Arabian desert.

Riding along the sand dunes in a 4×4 jeep is one of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi City. This ride can be enjoyed either in the morning while catching the sunrise or in the evening while watching the sunset. After the safari, one can also experience Camel Riding, Dune Buggying, Quad Biking, Sand Boarding, Dune Bashing and other thrilling and fun-filled activities. After this you will be transported to a peaceful camping site where belly dancers and musicians will keep you engaged throughout the evening. End the day with some delicious Arabian cuisine to make your experience a memorable one.

Timings: Morning Safari: 9:00am – 12:00pm, Evening Safari: 3:00pm – 9:00pm

Time Required: 3-4 hours

Entry Ticket: Between AED 200 – 1200

Ride The World’s Fastest Roller Coaster At Ferrari World

abu dhabi tourism has boomed because of the Ferrari world and its rides.
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Experiencing the high-octane rides inspired by the luxury sports car is one of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi. Formula Rossa (the world’s fastest) is a rollercoaster that goes from 0 to 240 km/hr in 4.9 seconds.This ride inside the large indoor theme park is the pride and joy of this place. And if that’s not enough, adrenaline seekers can try out another thrilling ride called the Flying Aces. For some next-level adrenaline rush, this is the right place.

Where: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

Timings: 12:00pm to 8:00pm (Monday to Thursday), 11:00am to 8:00pm (Friday to Sunday)

Entry Ticket: Single Day Ticket – Adults AED 345, Junior AED 265

Kayak In The Jubail Mangrove National Park

abu dhabi tourist spot
kayaking tours allows you to kayak on your own to feel the calmness around.

Mangrove kayaking is one of the best fun adventure things to do in Abu Dhabi. There are a lot of kayaking tours that allow you to kayak away into the mangrove forests. This is your best chance to see Abu Dhabi’s dominating skyline from a different side. The entire tour lasts about 1.5 to 2 hours and is available for all levels of experience and age. Don’t forget to book yourself for an adrenaline-rushing night ride which is quite challenging and adventurous. You can either go on this adventure alone or with your entire family.

Where: Abu Dhabi’s Coastline

Entry Ticket: 141 – 189 AED

Race At The Yas Marina Circuit

many visit abu dhabi to experience the thrills of speed in the Ferrari Circuit
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For racing enthusiasts, a chance to race on the real Formula One track is once in a lifetime experience. If your visit to Abu Dhabi is a time when there is no racing, you can still experience the thrills of speed by booking for a guided tour of the circuit. The high-octane tour will make pit stops at the control room, the pit garages, the Grandstand and the exclusive Paddock Club, where the racers socialize on race days.

There are a variety of drive experiences to choose from, you can either drive on your own or sit beside the driver as a passenger in the racing car. Don’t miss this chance where you get to see behind-the-scenes and also the chance to touch and feel the tracks. 

Where: Yas Marina Circuit – Yas Island – Abu Dhab

Timings: Daily 9:00am to 11.30pm

Skydive For That Adrenaline Rush

adventure things to do in abudhabi
Flying in a free fall during sky diving.

All that you need to experience this most thrilling thing to do in Abu Dhabi is to put on your diving suits, get on the plane, and jump from a height of 13000 ft. The 60 seconds of free-fall at a speed of 200km/h before opening your parachute is going to be the most memorable moment of your trip. The entire jump will be captured using digital cameras that are attached to you and your instructor. The digital images and videos will be handed to you after the activity. There is no need to pay for the pics as it is included in the package. Book now as this exhilarating jump is definitely an once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Where: Khalifa Industrial – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Timings: 07:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Entry Ticket: AED 1500 including the pictures and videos

Go White-Water Rafting At Wadi Adventure Park

water rafting for thrill-seekers in Abu Dhabi
Cruising through the wild water with a group of daredevils.

Wadi Adventure park is counted as one of the best places for thrill-seekers in Abu Dhabi. Be it for experienced or just for a beginner, the nerve-wracking rafting through volatile waters comes with a lot of spills and thrills. There will be a professional guide and instructor to accompany you to ensure you have a safe ride. As it is located in the shadows of Jebel Hafeet Mountain, your eyes will be treated with great views all along the way. While planning your trip make sure you add this activity which is one of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi to make your vacation a thrilling affair. 

Where: Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Entry Ticket: 60 – 85 AED

Timings: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

Free Things To Do In Abu Dhabi

Tour The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Grand Mosque is a majestic architectural wonder
Night views of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

A tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque should be on top of every Abu Dhabi itinerary. This majestic architectural wonder is the most popular sightseeing attraction in the city. The sprawling white marble landmark is so big that it can accommodate 55,000 people at a time. Mameluke, Ottoman, and Fatimid designs have been fused to make this stunning place of worship stand out. The impressive interiors of the Grand Mosque are also as grand as its exteriors. Reflective pools, 82 white marble domes, 1,096 exterior columns, and 24-carat gold Swarovski chandeliers are all worth seeing. To gain a deeper understanding of the structure and its religious beliefs, booking a guided tour sounds like a good idea.

Where: Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street, Abu Dhabi

Entry Ticket: Entry is free

Timings: 9:00am – 10:00pm

Understand UAE’s History At The Founder’s Memorial

memorial offers visitors a gist about how Sheikh Zayed
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While walking along the Corniche, one can spot the 30-meter high 3D art installation of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who is the founding Father of the UAE. The memorial offers visitors a gist about how Sheikh Zayed was as a layman and as a leader. Through art, nature, words, stories and multimedia experiences it gives people a deeper understanding of how the founder late Sheikh Zayed influenced the UAE and the world. A stroll through the heritage garden and sanctuary while taking in the beauty of the surrounding are other things to do in Abu Dhabi while here. 

Where: Al Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi

Timings: 9:00am – 10:00pm

Entry Ticket: Entry is free

Marvel At The Futuristic Aldar HQ Building

visit abu dhabi to see unique attractions
Aldar headquarters building in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates

The Aldar Headquarters building, a coin shaped iconic skyscraper is first of its kind in the Middle East. Lebanese architect Marwan Zgheib was the brain behind this futuristic looking building. The bizarre landmark is circular in elevation and curved in all other directions. It looks more like two coins stuck together. The 360-foot-high structure with 23-stories attracts millions of visitors every year. Sadly one cannot see the building from inside as it’s not open to the public. Only people who work here can go inside, however one can enjoy this architectural wonder from the outside free of cost. This iconic and fully glazed structure has put Abu Dhabi on the world map. 

Where: Al Raha, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Entry Ticket: Entry restricted but can enjoy the beauty of the building for free from the outside.

Explore Al Jahili Fort

abu dhabi sightseeing for free
Al Jahili fort in Al Ain, Emirate of Abu Dhabi

If you are a history buff and want to know more about UAE’s history, then Al Jahili Fort should definitely be on top of things to do in Abu Dhabi list. The fort which was built by Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa in 1890 for the protection of palm farmers is today the center for historical information. This beautiful mud brick fortress is one of the UAE’s largest forts. The entire area is converted into lush gardens and exhibition halls where one can stroll for free throughout the day. Top highlight here is the permanent exhibition dedicated to explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger who had crossed the world’s largest sand mass twice. 

Where: Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan St, Al Jahili, Abu Dhabi 

Entry Ticket: Free

Timings: Open daily from 9:00am-7:00pm

Feel The Luxury At The Emirates Palace 

five-star luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi
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A visit to Emirates Palace is probably one of the most famous things to do in Abu Dhabi for free. The five-star luxury hotel is one of the most iconic buildings in the UAE. It’s famous not just for its luxury but also because the place is very photogenic. Majority of its suites are furnished in gold and marble but this can be experienced and seen only if you are staying in the hotel, sadly the stay is not free. The good part is that one can explore the golden hotel from the outside for free. 

Where: West Corniche Rd, Al Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi 

Entry Ticket: No price to pay to see the palace form the outside

Window Shopping At Yas Mall

Yas Mall is the largest mall in Abu Dhabi
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Yas Mall, the largest mall in Abu Dhabi is located on Yas Island. The mall is so huge (covers 2.5 million square feet) that its home to 370 international brands, 68 outlets for food and beverage and 24 movie screens for entertainment purposes. It also has a direct connection to the Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi which is also in Yas Island. This place is a hot spot for locals and tourists as it caters to all the needs under one roof. Entry to the mall is free, however if you wish to do anything more than just window shopping, it’s chargeable. Visiting this super-regional mall is perhaps one of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi for free.

Where: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi – UAE

Timings: 10:00am to 01:00am

Entry Ticket: Free entry

10 Things To Know About Abu Dhabi Before You Go

  • Abu Dhabi has over 200 islands covering about 67,340 square kilometers, which makes it the largest Emirate in the UAE.
  • Japanese architect Katsuhiko Takahashi was the man behind planning and designing the infrastructure of Abu Dhabi.
  • Abu Dhabi has bagged the title of ‘The Safest city in the World’ for two consecutive years (2018 & 2019).
  • The second-largest man-made island (Yas Island) in the world is in Abu Dhabi. Canals were dug to separate it and turn it into an island.
  • The world’s largest uninterrupted desert region called the Rub Al Khali, or the Empty Quarter is found in the west of Abu Dhabi.
  • Masdar City, an ambitious project of Abu Dhabi that’s to be completed in 2025 will be the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city.
  • The Abu Dhabi police department uses luxury sports cars like Lamborghini, Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Nissan GTR and Lykan hyper sport to cruise around and tackle high-speed chases.
  • The City of Abu Dhabi has 100 high-tech bus stops that are fully air-conditioned with see-through glass panes from top to bottom.
  • World’s first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence was appointed by Abu Dhabi in the year 2017.
  • Abu Dhabi’s national animal is the Arabian Oryx which also happens to be the national symbol of other UAE countries like Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar.

Suggested Reads: All You Need To Know About The Ferrari World In Abu Dhabi

The many fun, adventure and free things to do in Abu Dhabi tourist spot is sure to make your Arabian holidays memorable. So the next time you are in Dubai, do add a couple of days to your Dubai itinerary or fly in directly to Abu Dhabi to experience this tourists’ paradise.

FAQs On Things To Do In Abu Dhabi

What are the best things to do in Abu Dhabi at night?

Just like in the day there are many things to do in Abu Dhabi at night too. Enjoying a ride at Ferrari World, adding new colors to a dull evening at Yas waterworld, spending an evening soaking up the lavish atmosphere of Emirates Palace Hotel, enjoying the night view of the illuminated Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, going on a romantic Dhow Cruise dinner, spending the night in a desert camp, walking along the peaceful Corniche along with your loved one, touring the Mangroves at night and unwinding by partying hard at the famous Yas Island are some of the top things to do at night in Abu Dhabi. 

Is Abu Dhabi cheaper than Dubai?

Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are known for luxury living, however as per data the cost of living is 11% lesser in Abu Dhabi in comparison with Dubai. 

What is the best time of year to go to Abu Dhabi?

The best time of year to visit Abu Dhabi are the months of April, May or from September to October. If you like the cold and want to avoid the scorching heat, the winter months between November and early March are the best time.

Is Abu Dhabi a day trip from Dubai?

With so many things to do in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the UAE has become a popular tourist destination for many. People coming to visit Dubai generally keep a day aside to see what Abu Dhabi has to offer. With some clever planning, famous attractions such as Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Yas Island, and Ferrari World can be seen in a day. However to experience more of what Abu Dhabi has to offer we recommend at least 2 to 3 days of stay here.

What are the rules for tourists in Abu Dhabi?

The three golden rules for tourists in Abu Dhabi are, firstly regardless of which religion you are from, respect their religious events and prayer time. Secondly, avoid eating or drinking in public and Abu Dhabi sightseeing places during the Ramadan hours, if caught one can be penalized. Thirdly, dress conservatively, avoid short, tight, revealing clothes and avoid public display of affection. Special care must be taken while visiting Mosques and Government buildings where you are expected to dress modestly with head covered.


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